Russian retail giant Magnit has booked an increase in profits in the first quarter of the year.

The company, which overtook X5 Retail Group last month as the top Russian retailer by sales, recorded a net profit of RUB6.16bn (US$194.2m). This was an increase of 29% on last year, it reported today (23 April).

EBITDA was up 25.8% from last year to RUB9.7bn, while EBITDA margin amounted to 9.31%.

Sales increased 30.4% year-on-year to reach RUB131.24bn, boosted by a 29.9% increase in selling space and a 4.8% increase of like-for-like sales. During the quarter, Magnit added 191 stores.

CEO Sergey Galitskiy said: “Last year was the strongest year in the company’s history. However, comparing 1Q 2013 results y-o-y we see that most of the changes are due to foreign exchange difference, which speaks for the sustainability of the company’s operating efficiency.”